Vista bans indoor e-cigarette smoking

VISTA, Calif. – A smoking method considered a “cleaner alternative” to lighting up a cigarette is still not acceptable enough for the City of Vista.

The City Council voted 4 to 1 Tuesday evening to ban e-cigarettes from being used indoors at restaurants and most public places. They said the main reason is for enforcement, claiming it would cause some confusion between e-cigarettes and regular ones.

Council’s decision has many residents applauding. Chris Lawrence knows he’ll never worry about cigarette smoke when in Vista.

“I don’t want it around me personally, especially don’t want it around my baby,” Lawrence said.

The e-cig devices are typically made of plastic or metal. They allow users to inhale a nicotine vapor rather than tobacco fumes and they don’t emit second hand smoke.

Gena Knutson is with North Coastal Prevention Coalition, an organization pushing for the ban.  She said the smokeless devices send the wrong message to younger generations.

“We’re hearing reports of these being used in middle schools and high schools,” Knutson said.  “If kids see these and use these, they could become more addicted to tobacco products and continue onto tobacco products.”

Mario Mendoza has smoked “vapes” for five months and feels burned by the city council decision.

“So, it’s not allowed anymore?” said Mendoza. “It’s not even bad. You’re smoking vapor. It doesn’t affect anyone actually.”

The ban will go into effect in about 30 days.